SCSI Ultra 320 adapter for LTO tape drive

Discussion in 'RAID Controllers and Host Bus Adapters' started by perdrix, Jan 10, 2017.

  1. perdrix

    perdrix Member

    Mar 3, 2016
    Likes Received:
    I've discovered that Adaptec's drivers for their Ultra160 and Ultra320 cards on Windows x64 systems only support a maximum blocksize of 64kB because of what I'll politely call a misunderstanding of the Windows StorPort driver model. Specifically their support article 17088 says:

    Newer 64-bit versions of Windows ignore the MaximumSGList parameter because the Storport driver architecture does not support this parameter. If you are using Windows Server 2003 x64, Windows 7 x64 or Windows Server 2008 (R2) x64 then only Storport drivers are supported and therefore the block size cannot be changed. It will always be the default value of 64k.

    This isn't correct, if when you initialise a StorPort minidriver you set NumberOfPhysicalBreaks in the PORT_CONFIGURATION_INFO structure to the same number that this article suggests for MaximumSGList then you can set MaximumTransferLength accordingly (so for a Maximum TransferLength of 256k, you need to set NumberOfPhysicalBreaks=65). It's clear some developers that worked at Adaptec knew this as some of their other StorPort drivers do support >>64kB (and the documentation references NumberOfPhysicalBreaks!!!

    Microsemi who now own the brand are not the same helpful company that Adaptec used to be and basically told me to live with it. I offered to fix the code at which point they admitted that somewhere along the way from Adaptec -> PMC Sierra -> Microsemi the code has been lost.

    So can anyone recommend PCI-X or PCIe U320 SCSI controllers (HBAs) that have drivers for Windows 10 x64 and DO support blocksizes above 64kB.

    Thanks a lot
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2017
  2. BlueFox

    BlueFox Well-Known Member

    Oct 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Dumped the last of my SCSI SANs a few years back, but LSI makes somewhat modern PCIe SCSI adapters. Pretty certain that they still produce modern drivers. Might be able to give the LSI20320IE or LSI22320SE a go? Unsure about block size support however.
  3. Terry Kennedy

    Terry Kennedy Well-Known Member

    Jun 25, 2015
    Likes Received:
    You might want to consider a newer LTO drive with a SAS interface - SCSI on LTO4 and higher is pretty rare. There are a lot more inexpensive SAS adapters out there than SCSI ones. Depending on what generation LTO drive you have, you may be able to re-use your existing tapes - LTO will read/write one older generation and read 2 older generations.
    Jon Massey likes this.
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